Agency Workers Regulations guidance published
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Issued 06 May 2011 -
The Government has today
published guidance to help employers and the recruitment sector prepare
for the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations.
The guidance, which has been
produced in partnership with a wide range of businesses, trade unions
and recruitment agency representatives, will help hirers and agencies
understand the requirements of the Regulations. Separate guidance for
agency workers will be published shortly.
The Regulations implement
the EU Agency Workers Directive as agreed in 2008 following social
partner agreement between the CBI and TUC. These will come into force
in the UK on 1 October 2011. They will give agency workers the right to
the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been
recruited directly by the hirer - if and when they complete a 12 week
qualifying period in a job.
Minister Edward Davey said:
“The agency sector is a key
part of the UK’s flexible labour market. It provides the flexibility
needed for employers to meet surges in demand, cover temporary absences
or cope with seasonal fluctuations and provides a route into employment
for thousands of individuals.
“The Agency Workers
Regulations have been on the statute book since January 2010 and
followed negotiations between the CBI and TUC. We looked carefully at
the possibility of amending the Regulations to address employers’
concerns but were forced to conclude that we could not do so without
putting the 12 week qualifying period at risk. This qualification
period is something that is a key flexibility that we know is vital to
“Our focus therefore has
been providing the best possible guidance to help everyone affected
understand these regulations. We have collaborated with key
organisations including employment agencies, employers, trade unions
and representative bodies to develop this guidance and I believe the
resulting document will help prepare everyone for the forthcoming
Chief Executive of the
Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Kevin Green said:
"There has been a genuine
effort to take on board the concerns of recruitment agencies and to
clarify how these regulations will work in practice. Agency work plays
a vital role within our economy. Limiting bureaucracy and uncertainty
will ensure that it continues to benefit businesses and job-seekers.
Implementation will create
some challenges, but the regulations do not fundamentally impact on the
crucial flexibility that agency work provides. The publication of the
guidance is the latest milestone - it is now up to agencies and
employers to come together and make it work”.
The Government is committed
to stopping the deluge of regulation that is restricting businesses and
wants to be the first Government in history to reduce the burden of
regulation over its lifetime. We have already set up a robust challenge
process to ensure that new regulation is a last resort and are
currently running the Red Tape Challenge campaign (www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk)
where we are asking the public for their views on all 21,000
regulations on the statute book.
- The Agency Workers Regulations Guidance can be found here –
- The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 bring the European
Agency Workers Directive into UK law. Further information on the Agency
Workers Regulations can be found here – http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/awd
- The key changes as result of the Regulations will be that
after a 12 week qualifying period an agency worker will be entitled to
the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been
directly recruited by the hirer to the same job. These include key
elements of pay, duration of working time, night work, rest periods and
breaks, annual leave and paid timeA off for ante-natal appointments.
Regulations also include new entitlements for agency workers from day
one of their assignment with regards to access to facilities at the
workplace and the right to be notified of any relevant vacancies
- The default position in the Directive is that the
qualifying principle should apply from ‘day one’ of an agency worker’s
assignment. However, the Directive also allowed Member States some
flexibility as to how this principle is applied, including the
possibility of a qualifying period before the right to equal treatment
arises, as long as this is based on an agreement reached by "national
level" social partners. Such an agreement was reached by the CBI and
TUC in May 2008, with the support of the previous Government and
provides the legal basis for the legislation subsequently put in place
- including its provision for a qualifying period of 12 weeks.
- The draft AWR guidance was open to comment from the 1 April
to the 15 April 2011. A series of seminars and workshops with the
industry were held prior to this period.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-05-07 04:17:37 in Legal Articles